What is the menopause and how can its symptoms be alleviated?

Women’s reactions to the menopause tend to vary. Some feel a sense of joy as they see it as a kind of relief after years of menstruation. For example, they will no longer need to buy any feminine products. However, for many, the menopause is the beginning of the ageing process.

Menstruation is not a comfortable experience for women to go through. Sadly, as they get older, the menopause brings a whole new set of challenges. Although there are medications and treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms, not all of them are beneficial, and some may even harm your body.

The difference between menopause and the perimenopause

Most women are familiar with the menopause but they may not know about its different stages. For instance, many women will undergo the perimenopause, the period before the actual menopause begins.

The perimenopause is the transitional stage when a woman’s hormones begin to decline. It can last for a few weeks to sometimes even years. However, it is important to remember that it is still possible for women to get pregnant during their perimenopause phase.   

The actual menopause starts once the ovaries no longer produce, or are unable to release, any eggs. If you have not had a period for 12 months, this means you have entered the menopause phase.

What are the common symptoms of the menopause?

Many older women are apprehensive about the menopause because they are fearful of its effects. According to this article, you can experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Absence of/decrease in libido
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sore or tender breasts
  • Brittle hair
  • Dry skin
  • Hot flushes
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of energy
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Irregular periods
  • Palpitations
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain
Self-care tips for alleviating symptoms of the menopause

Remember, you don’t have to rely on drugs because nowadays you can relieve or avoid your troublesome symptoms through natural means.

Focus on eating nutritious meals

Hormonal changes can cause a woman’s bones to weaken, making them susceptible to osteoporosis. This is one of the reasons why women going through the menopause need to follow a well-balanced diet. You can combat any deficiency by eating food that is plentiful in calcium and vitamin D.

Your diet should include:

  • Dairy products
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Kale
  • Spinach

These foods will help you maintain and strengthen your bone density. One natural compound your body needs is phytoestrogen, which is available in plants. By increasing your intake of phytoestrogens, you can reduce symptoms such as:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Palpitations

You can obtain phytoestrogens from beans, flaxseeds, linseeds, sesame seeds, tofu and other soy products.

Avoid food that can trigger your symptoms

Some foods can exacerbate symptoms such as mood swings. Therefore, you should try to avoid consuming certain types of food and drink, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee and caffeine-rich beverages
  • Spicy and sugary food

Compile a list of other foods that trigger your symptoms, especially during dinner or at night. 

Maintain a regular exercise regimen

As many menopausal women experience weight gain, regular exercise is a must. Physical activities can help:

  • Keep your bones and joints healthy
  • Reduce stress
  • Combat insomnia
  • Alleviate your anxiety and depression

During exercise, your brain releases endorphins which will then trigger positive feelings.

Drink lots of water/liquid

Another way to alleviate the symptoms of the menopause is to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water every day. This will keep you hydrated and reduce skin and vaginal dryness. Moreover, it can also reduce any bloated feelings you may be experiencing. As an added bonus, drinking lots of water can help you lose weight as it will improve your metabolism and make you feel full. 

Keep your sugar consumption to a minimum

Food that is high in sugar and refined carbs can affect bone health and cause depression. In addition, people who have too much sugar in their diet can feel irritable and tire easily. 

Go out and enjoy the sunshine

Staying inside for hours on end is not good for anyone’s mental health and can aggravate the symptoms of the menopause. Fortunately, doing something as simple as taking a walk outside is regarded as an effective remedy. Even a leisurely stroll will be enough to calm your thoughts and lower your stress levels.

Don’t skip meals

Avoiding meals will only exacerbate some of your symptoms and interfere with your weight loss goals. You must eat at set times in order to keep your metabolism working at its most efficient. 


While the menopause is part of every woman’s ageing process, there is no need to suffer in silence. It is possible to alleviate if not completely eliminate your symptoms through various natural means. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can even celebrate this momentous milestone of womanhood without the associated side effects. Eating the right food, exercising, drinking lots of water, as well as other things, will help ensure that your experience of the menopause is as pleasant as it can be.

Menopause in the workplace

Menopause has spent a long time being a taboo subject in the workplace, with women suffering in silence surrounded by colleagues, either oblivious, embarrassed or unable to help.

But, today businesses are much more empathetic to the needs of their employees.  Looking after employee wellbeing a high priority for businesses of all sizes.

Managing menopause in the workplace is just one of a myriad of topic Parental Choice can help with.  Our team of experts can deliver useful and insightful presentations and workshops.

Your Employee Wellbeing works with businesses to support the wellbeing of their employees. Focusing on dealing with life’s challenges we are here to help your employees.

We do this through our wellbeing programmes for small, medium, and larger businesses. Get in touch to see how we can help info@youremployeewellbeing.co.uk  |  020 8979 6453

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